With Brexit looming and its potential impact on already challenging driver shortages, vehicle tracking specialist Masternaut has issued advice for operators to help them motivate, retain and grow their driver fleets.
The company cites the UK Logistics Confidence Index 2018, which found that 60 per cent of logistics companies anticipate that market conditions will get more difficult in the year ahead, following noticeably tougher trading in the past 12 months.
One of the key concerns expressed by more than 100 senior decision-makers who were surveyed was that of driver shortages, with nearly one in five logistics operators saying they expect a decreased headcount in the next 12 months, as EU-native drivers leave and older drivers retire.
The reality is that there is simply not enough new talent coming into the sector early enough to counter an ageing workforce, says Masternaut – and one of the main challenges in attracting recruits has been the perception that the industry lacks significant career opportunities.
One of the key ways of overcoming these challenges, the firm adds, is to ensure that logistics companies work to create positions for drivers, which will allow them to remain safe, motivated, conscientious and most importantly happy.
As one of the UK’s longest-standing vehicle tracking providers, Masternaut says its combination of technical expertise, simple user experience and consulting services can help logistics operators not only manage a fleet of vehicles effectively but also ensure the wellbeing and development of their workforce.
“Happy drivers will be long standing members of your team so it is important to ensure that you are doing everything you can to ensure their personal wellbeing as well as job satisfaction,” he said.
“People are more likely to change their behaviour in a positive sense when they receive immediate rather than delayed feedback, and Masternaut’s in-cab coaching device provides drivers with instant feedback on their driving performance when it detects wasteful and dangerous driving.”
Dhruv continued: “Using clever technology, the driver’s behaviour can be monitored through an in-cab coaching device, which alerts them when specific harsh driving events are detected, including rapid acceleration, braking and cornering, idling of the engine and speeding.
“The light bar then notifies the driver to the degree of which they have exceeded a driving event in real-time, allowing for an instant rectification.
“Further to this, in a bid to reduce administration and improve efficiency for fleet drivers, our Smarter Driver app has been upgraded to allow drivers to carry out vehicle checks completely electronically.
“The DVSA process of performing a daily walk around check of the vehicle every time it is used has historically been a paper-heavy process for drivers and managers, involving filling in a form to assess condition or highlight damage.
“With the new app functionality, drivers simply run through a 20-point checklist on a smartphone, swiping right if the item is in good order, or left if there is an issue to report.”
Fleets shouldn’t be afraid to trial new drivers, Dhruv added.
“Recruiting is always a challenge as well as a time of uncertainty for any company but trailing new drivers with the support of Masternaut can be a lot less stressful than simply recruiting blindly.
“Companies can place their new recruits on a three-month probation and carefully monitor their staff’s driving behaviour before making a decision to employ them permanently.
“Our non-intrusive CAN bus vehicle tracking device can read data straight from the vehicle’s computer so you can get the data you need including fuel consumption and mileage, track speed, acceleration and braking as well as identify over-revving and idling.”
He concluded: “At the end of the day, logistics companies are the same as any other business in the respect that they always need to watch the bottom line and someone must always be held accountable when it comes to managing budget versus resource.
“Masternaut offers a unique combination of industry-leading fleet management systems which allow companies to gain an unparalleled level of insight into their business, thus empowering them to make strategic decisions about when and where to recruit.”